The rich history, iconic landmarks, thriving cities, and captivating countryside of the UK have always been irresistible for global travellers. Whether you’re exploring business opportunities in London, reconnecting with family in Manchester, or simply looking to soak in the arts in Edinburgh, the UK has many experiences to offer.
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But before setting foot on British soil, there’s a crucial aspect one must navigate: the visa process. Among the varied visa options, the UK multiple entry visa stands out for its flexibility and convenience, particularly for frequent visitors.
This detailed blog post explores the ins and outs of this visa type, offering insights into its benefits, application process and more.
What is the UK Multiple Entry Visa?
The UK Multi-Entry Visa, often referred to as the long-term Standard Visitor visa, allows foreign nationals to visit the UK for extended periods or multiple times over a set period without re-applying each time.
Designed as a UK immigration path that offers flexibility to genuine visitors, the UK multiple entry visa ensures that frequent travellers, whether for business, family, or tourism, don’t have to go through the lengthy application process every time they intend to visit the UK. It serves as a stamp of trust, meaning the holder has been considered trustworthy enough to enter and leave the UK multiple times.
Benefits of holding a Multi-Entry Visa include:
- Flexibility: The main advantage is the ability to travel to the UK multiple times on a single visa without the need to apply for a new visa each time.
- Cost-effective: Over time, frequent travellers will find it cost-efficient, as they save on repeated visa application fees.
- Convenience: Avoid the wait time associated with visa processing for each trip, allowing for spontaneous trips or emergency visits.
- Enhanced Credibility: Holding a long-term standard visitor visa can often be viewed as a mark of credibility, showcasing that the visa holder has maintained a clean record during previous visits to the UK.
Eligibility and Requirements for a UK Multi-Entry Visit Visa
Every visa category has its set of criteria, and the UK’s long-term standard visitor visa is no exception. While the flexibility of the visa is appealing, there are some stringent requirements that applicants must adhere to.
Some criteria must be fulfilled for the Visa, including:
- Genuine Visitor Status: The applicant must prove their genuine intent to visit the UK without making it their main place of residence.
- Financial Stability: An applicant must demonstrate they have sufficient funds to spend in the UK without recourse to public funds or seeking employment in the UK.
- Purpose of Visit: The motive for the travel (business, tourism, family, etc.) should be clear and credible.
- Previous Travel History: Compliance with the visa rules of other countries, especially countries like the USA, Canada, and the Schengen countries, can act as a positive indicator. Conversely, non-compliance could lead to a refusal.
- Links to Home Country: Applicants must demonstrate strong connections to their native country and the intent to go back following their visit.
The Multiple Entry Visitor Visa Application Process
The visa application is a complex process, and it’s crucial to stick to all requirements. Any discrepancy or lack of documentation can cause delays or even refusals. Ensuring that the application aligns with the UK visa rules and demonstrates the applicant’s genuine visitor status can significantly enhance the chances of approval.
Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a Multi-Entry Visa:
- Online Application: Begin by filling out the respective online visa application form.
- Documentation: Gather all necessary documents that prove your eligibility.
- Visa Application Fee: Pay the application fee, which varies based on the length of the visa.
- Appointment Booking: Schedule an appointment at a visa application centre to submit biometrics.
- Interview: Depending on individual circumstances, a UK visa interview might be required at a nearby UK visa centre.
- Decision: Once all steps are completed, UK Visas and Immigration will start processing the application and communicate the decision.
Required Documentation Checklist
When applying for a Standard Visitor visa to the UK, it’s vital to ensure all your documents are in order. Incomplete or inaccurate documentation can result in unnecessary holds or even application denials. Here’s a basic checklist of documents required for the visa:
Passport/Travel Document: Must be valid throughout your stay in the UK, with a blank page reserved for the visa stamp.
Online Application Details: Ensure you’ve furnished the following information:
- Planned travel dates to the UK.
- Your accommodation details during the visit.
- An estimated budget for your trip.
- Current residential address and its duration.
- Parental details, including names and birth dates.
- Annual income, if applicable.
- Any illegal, civil, or immigration violations you might have been involved in.
Additional Documentation (If Applicable):
- A decade-long travel history.
- Employer’s contact details.
- Details about your partner: name, date of birth, and passport number.
- Information on the sponsor of your trip, if someone else is bearing your expenses: name, birth date, and passport information.
- Details of any UK-based family members: name, address, and passport number.
- If your visit exceeds 6 months, a tuberculosis (TB) test certification may be mandatory.
Specific Visit Purposes:
- If you’re heading to the United Kingdom for educational or medical purposes, expect to provide specialised documentation corresponding to your intent.
- If the documents are non-English/Welsh, you must offer certified translations to ensure clarity and transparency in your application.
Remember, the above list is a basic guide. Based on individual circumstances and the specific nature of your visit, additional documents might be required.
Processing Time and Decision
After you’ve submitted your visitor visa application at a visa application centre, the typical wait time is around 3 weeks. However, it’s wise to apply well in advance of your planned travel schedule to account for any unexpected delays. Some centres might offer expedited services, but this comes at an additional fee.
While the above gives a general timeframe, the exact processing time can vary based on:
- Volume of Applications: Peak travel seasons or large events in the UK can lead to an influx of applications, potentially slowing down processing times.
- Application Completeness: Insufficient applications or missing documentation can lead to delays and denials.
- Additional Verifications: Sometimes, the consulate might require additional checks, especially if there’s something amiss or if they need further clarification on certain aspects of your application.
Duration and Limits of a Multi-Entry Visa
Irrespective of the UK visit visa’s lifespan, travellers are typically granted a maximum stay of up to 6 months on each entry. This makes the standard visitor visa perfect for tourists, business professionals, and others who don’t wish to live in the UK but visit it regularly.
Though there’s no strict limit on how many times one can enter the UK within a visa’s validity, it’s crucial not to make the UK your main home. If authorities find that you’re trying to live in the UK by repeated or successive visits, it can endanger future visa applications.
Visitor Visa Fees
Just like any other UK visa, you must pay a specific fee to apply for a long-term visitor visa. The application fee varies based on the visa’s duration.
Breakdown of Visitor Visa Application fees:
- UK Standard Visitor Visa: If you want to apply for a standard visitor visa for a single visit, this visa comes with a fee of £100 and permits a stay of up to 6 months.
- 2-year Long-term Standard Visitor Visa: Priced at £376, this visa allows multiple visits with a maximum stay duration of 6 months per visit.
- 5-year Long-term Standard Visitor Visa: For a fee of £670, you can enjoy multiple trips to the UK over five years, with each stay being limited to 6 months.
- 10-year Long-term Standard Visitor Visa: The most extensive of the options, for a fee of £837, grants you the freedom to visit the UK over a decade, sticking to the 6-month stay limit for each visit.
Pls note that all these prices are subject to change – the prices listed above are from August 2023
The process to apply for a multiple entry may be tricky, but the rewards of experiencing the vibrant cultures and breathtaking landscapes of the UK are well worth the effort. With a focused mindset, the right guidance, and proper preparation, anyone can turn their dream to come to the UK into a reality.
If at any point you feel the need for legal advice or assistance for the long-term UK standard visa, Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors stand ready to help you guide the complexities of the UK visit visa application process. Speak with our specialist at +44 20 7269 9590 or fill out the form below.
The difficulty in obtaining a UK visitor visa depends on an applicant’s individual circumstances. Meeting the visa requirements, providing accurate documentation, and demonstrating genuine visitor intent will enhance the chances of approval.
A daily budget of about £100 to £150 per day per visitor is recommended. However, the exact amount varies based on the objective and duration of the visit.
If your UK Visitor Visa application is denied, you’ll receive a refusal letter detailing the reasons. While there’s no formal appeal process, you can reapply by addressing the concerns raised or seek legal advice for better clarity.
A caseworker might doubt an applicant’s genuine visitor status based on factors like inconsistent travel history, insufficient funds, lack of ties to the home country, ambiguous travel purpose, or previous immigration violations.
No, IELTS is not required for a UK visit visa. It is typically necessary for study, work, or family visas where proof of English language proficiency is a criterion.
Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors specialises in UK immigration law, providing expert assistance in all UK visa applications, citizenship processes, 10 and 20-year-long residence applications, indefinite leave to remain work permits, and asylum claims. Our team of committed lawyers offers clear, professional advice, ensuring a smooth navigation through the immigration process for our clients.
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At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.
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Dr Bernard Andonian – the Co-Founder of Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, is an experienced Immigration Solicitor, former Judge, and recipient of a PhD in Law from the University of West London. He has over four decades of experience practising UK Immigration, Human Rights and Civil Litigation Law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.